Okay, okay, we know that sharing a family bed is a personal decision and it's perfectly normal and acceptable and something that goes on around the globe. But not everyone chooses to co-sleep -- sometimes the family bed just happens because Mom and Dad are too exhausted to find a solution. If you're not getting enough sleep, or if you're just not into the kid-in-your-bed scenario anymore, then it's time for everyone to head back to their own bed. Here's how to do it.
Start One New Habit at a Time
There's midnight runs to Mama and Dada's bed and then there's falling asleep with Mama and Dada in the family bed at bedtime. "If your child doesn’t doze off by herself in her own room, that's what you need to teach first,” says Brett R. Kuhn, Ph.D., director of the Behavioral Sleep Medicine Clinic at the Children's Hospital of Omaha. "You can't just put her in a foreign location -- her own bed in her room -- and expect her to fall asleep. She has no experience doing that."
If your child regularly goes to sleep in your bed with you, start by teaching your child to fall asleep solo in your bed -- it should take about two weeks. "You’ll build her confidence this way," says Kuhn. Try reading bedtime stories with your babe already tucked in, give a kiss goodnight and tell her you'll come back to check on her in 10 minutes. Still awake? Tell her you'll check on her in another 10, and so on.